Mary Plazas made her operatic debut in 1992 with English National Opera
as the Heavenly Voice Don Carlos, and was a former company principal.
Roles have included Mimì (ENO/Opera North/Bregenz Festival/West
Australian Opera/Royal Albert Hall), Anne Trulove (Bayerisches
Staatsoper/New Israeli Opera/Opera Factory), Donna Elvira
(ENO/Glyndebourne on Tour/Valladolid), Nedda I Pagliacci, Cio-Cio-San,
Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Leila, Adina, Nannetta, Micaëla, Marzelline
Fidelio, Lauretta, Oscar and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen
(ENO), Juanita in Weill’s Kuhhandel, Salud La Vida Breve, Susanna Le
Nozze di Figaro and Elisetta Il matrimonio segreto (Opera North),
Heavenly Voice (Royal Opera at the BBC Proms), Angelic Voice Palestrina
(Royal Opera in London and New York), Duchess Powder Her Face
(Almeida/Aldeburgh/Channel 4/LSO at the Barbican), Mum Greek (London
Sinfonietta at the Barbican), Mrs Coyle Owen Wingrave (Concertgebouw),
Alexina Le Roi Malgré Lui (Grange Park Opera) and Elisabetta Roberto
Devereux, title role Lucrezia Borgia, Ismene in the Richard Strauss
arrangement of Mozart’s Idomeneo and title role Maria di Rohan (Buxton).
She created two roles in operas by Jonathan Dove, Tina Flight
(Glyndebourne) and Blue Fairy Pinocchio (Opera North). She sung Karin in
the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
(National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/Dublin), performed the title
role in Peter Ëotvös’s Lady Sarashina (Opéra National de Lyon at the
Opéra Comique), sung the lead in the world premiere of Eleanor Alberga’s
Letters of a Love Betrayed a joint commission from the Royal Opera
House and Music Theatre Wales and created the role of Madame Piccard in
Will Gregory’s Piccard in Space for the BBC at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Recordings include Mercadante’s Emma d’Antiocchia for Opera Rara’s 100
years of Italian Opera, Pacini’s Maria Regina d’Inghilterra with the
Philharmonia under David Parry also for Opera Rara, and L’Enfant et les
Sortilèges with the London Symphony Orchestra under André Previn for
Deutsche Grammophon. For Chandos Records she has recorded Marguerite
Faust, Adina, Zerlina, Liu Turandot and Micaëla.
Mary Plazas has given many recitals and concerts including solo recitals
at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, and the Karajan Centre in Vienna.
She has also performed at the Aldeburgh, Bath, Brighton, Cheltenham,
Chester and Brighton Festivals. Concert engagements include Mahler’s
Symphony No 8 (RPO/Sinopoli), Mozart Requiem (Hallé/Skrowacewski),
Brahms’ German Requiem (CBSO/Oramo), Shostakovich Symphony No 14 (Irish
Chamber Orchestra/Maksymiuk), Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri
(OAE/Elder), Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne (Hallé/Elder),
Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 (BBC NOW/Daniel), Saint-Saens’ The Promised
Land (BBC NOW/Hickox), Bach’s Magnificat (BBC Philharmonic/Noseda)
Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass (Philharmonia/Fischer) and Britten’s Les
Illuminations (Britten Sinfonia/Poppen). She sung in the first
performance in St Petersburg of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time.
Mary Plazas studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in
Manchester, where she was awarded the Curtis Gold Medal, and at the
National Opera Studio. She won the 1991 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial
Scholarship and the NFMS/Esso Award for Young Singers, and has received
support from the Peter Moores Foundation. She has worked for periods of
intensive study on interpretation in Geneva with the Swiss tenor, Eric
Future engagements include Fidelia in the British premiere of the four
act version of Puccini's Edgar (New Sussex Opera) and the Italian
Soprano in Capriccio (Royal Opera House).